With our lives seeming to become further and further streamlined and addicted to our smartphones, it seems only logical that Westfield, the shopping mall giants have translated this into a free, downloadable App to help navigate their sprawling London empires in Shepherds Bush & Stratford.
Disclaimer: For participating in the demonstration, I was a given product samples (not an iPhone, that was borrowed) as thanks by Westfield, but my (many) opinions are only ever my own.
When Westfield kindly invited me to try their newly released App last week, I was intrigued. Billed as ‘unique shopping content to your smartphone’ this App makes life that little bit easier.
After a short amount of brand ‘Swote’-ing, a combination of swiping and voting – up for like, down for dislike – the App’s recommendations are surprisingly accurate and shows you all sorts of deals and specials (again, this was a borrowed phone – Spacehopper Racing might count as an extreme sport though…)
…this was a little more like it (though just fyi, the Mamas and Papas is for a friend who is a new mum that I wanted to send presents to)…
Whilst also being able to check if the mall has the shop you like and the opening hours, it also recommends unique retailer discounts based on your ‘Swoting’ preferences and the ability to check which stores have particular items (eg. Levi Jeans). This is actually brilliant – I have lost count of the times I have gone onto a Mall website only to give up in frustration because I can’t find if a particular shop or brand is there.
Whilst wandering around the stores (the app also has a great map & direction function) it also removes the ‘I can’t find a cashpoint’ and ‘where is a darned bathroom when you need one’ problem. A Brucie bonus is that you don’t have to touch the immense communal screens that are at all information points. No possibility of random kid spit, no unwashed hands… no whatever else there may be on the public boards. Actually, it doesn’t bear thinking about.
They have a couple of other functions to help too;
- Car parking – Either type in the registration, and the car park cameras will spot it (Stratford only) or less Big Brotherly, record or type a voice note of your car’s location.
- Movie bookings – you can see listings, times and book a seat through the link it will take you to
- Trend Spotting for all the fashionistas
- Restaurant reservations – awesome!
My biggest concern was what they do with this data, are they spying on us? Well, we were assured that the data is totally anonymous; at no point do you supply your name, DOB, contact details, first Pet’s middle name, or kitchen sink (though you could use the App to find and buy one) unless you fancy signing up to their newsletter. They emphasised that they want to get to know ‘your device’ rather than you.
I went on a mission to test the kit out, so the only real question remains, did I manage to find what I looking for – satisfaction of a proper Flat White and Lolly Cake craving? Oh yeah!
It’s currently only available on iPhone (you download it via iTunes), but the Android version should be out in the next couple of months.
What is your biggest frustration when going shopping?